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Top 10 Killer Car Movies List

Updated on September 2, 2011

I don't know why, but I've always loved movies with killer cars or trucks, particularly the driverless or demonic kind. Here's my top ten list of movies and including some favorites from T.V.

10. Killdozer (1974)

It really wasn't that great of a movie, but a great concept. And it deserves to be in this top ten list. A giant bulldozer on a remote South Pacific island hits an ancient meteorite and is possessed by an alien force and goes on a killing spree, stalking a small group of constrution workers.. Starring Clint Walker. Bulldozers aren't very fast, so it doesn't create a lot of suspense.

More interesting was the real life killdozer event in June, 2004. Marvin Heemeyer was disgruntled at the city council of a small Colorado town and pulled an A-team. He created a steel plated frame around a huge bulldozer, complete with rifle nozzles and went on a destructive rampage of the town, destroying buildings, before finally taking his own life.

 

9. Joyride (2001)

A group of college students on a road trip play a prank on the CB with a truck driver known by the handle "Rusty Nail.", who turns out to be a psychotic killer. Made less in the tradition of Duel and more in the tradition of I Know What You Did Last Summer. Spawned at least one sequel.

8. Deathrace 2000 (1975)/ Deathrace (2008)

The original Deathrace 2000 is a cult classic by famous low-budget director Roger Corman. Starring David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone. In the year 2000, society has devolved into a religious, fascist police state. There is a murderous, transcontinental race, where points are awarded based on how many people the driver can kill with his car. All manner of strange vehicles enter the race. The favorite and most mysterious racer is Frankenstein, played by Carradine. Who will survive and win? And does Frankenstein have an alterior motive?

Deathrace, features Transporter star Jason Statham. In a post-apocalyptic world, ruthless corporations run prisons for profit. Ex-con Jensen Ames is forced to race in the world's most popular sport, "Deathrace" which pits armored cars against each other in a battle to the death. David Carradine returns to reprise his role at the beginning, This one is about the cars battling each other, not killing pedestrians. Lots more action, but not as edgy.

7. Hybrid (2010)

Hybrid puts an interesting twist on the killer car story. One night a car is brought to the police impound after an accident. It turns out to be an alien shapeshifting predator that looks like a car. It feeds on would be car burglars, trapping them inside, then flooding the cab with digestive juices. It keeps changing shape, evading the police mechanics who don't have a clue. By French director Eric Valette who made "One Missed Call."

6. The Wraith (1986)

Starring Charlie Sheen. After a nice teenage boy named Jamie is killed by a gang of drag racers, he comes back as Charlie Sheen's Jake, a mystery driver with a futuristic car that looks a little like a Toyota Prius. He takes care of Jamie's girlfriend and brother, getting revenge on the murderous gang along the way.

5. Maximum Overdrive (1986)

Who can forget that goblin-faced semi truck? The same year as The Wraith, Charlie Sheen's brother Emilio Estevez had his own killer car movie based on a Stephen King story. After Earth passes through the tail of a mysterious comet, machines start to come to life, killing everyone. A group of people are stuck in an isolated gas station as they are terrorized by a convoy of killer tucks.

4. K.A.R.R. and Goliath from Knight Rider (1982-1984)

For number 4, I've included two killing machines from my favorite T.V. show as a kid, Knight Rider. The episodes with K.A.R.R. and Goliath were among the best and most memorable of the series.

"I am the Knight Automated Roving Robot. K.A.R.R. if you prefer. I am the prototype of the car of the future...What you saw was an inferior production line copy."

What an ego trip. K.I.T.T.'s evil twin K.A.R.R. is programed for self-preservation and definitely the most talkative of the cars on the list. After being woken-up by a couple of bumbling hobos, he goes on a crime spree. He came back a second time, too. K.A.R.R.'s unforgettable voice was brought to life by veteran voice actor Peter Cullen, better known as the voice behind Optimus Prime. K.A.R.R. came back as a transformer in the 2008 Knight Rider show with the same voice.

Goliath was a huge, black truck made with K.I.T.T.'s same indestructable armor. Driven by Michael's evil twin Garth and with a deep growling engine. it destroys everything in it's path. He came back a second time. To bad it didn't have a computer brain, too. Both K.A.R.R. and Goliath show us the best way to defeat a killer car, run it over a cliff.

3. Christine (1983)

Based on Stephen King's best-selling novel and brought to life by John Carpenter. A high school nerd buys and restores a red 1958 Plymouth Fury named "Christine" with an evil mind of it's own. Soon, the boy goes through his own changes, too. I love the scenes where Christine restores herself. And I love the theme song, "Bad to the Bone." What a great flick

2. The Car (1977)

I can watch this movie again and again. It's the archetype killer car movie. A mysterious, black, customized car goes on a killing spree in a sleepy Southwestern town. The demonic car seems unstoppable, the police powerless. After the sheriff is killed, deputy Wade has to try to stop the car. The story is simple and moves along quickly. I love the scene when the car chases some teachers and kids into a cemetery. It can't follow because the ground is hollowed. The movie stars veteran actors James Brolin, who later became famous on the T.V. show Hotel and a very young Ronny Cox who became famous as Lieutenant Bogamil in Beverly Hill Cop. I always wished they made a sequel to this movie.

1. Duel (1971)

As a businessman drives cross country, he is terrorized by the unseen driver of a massive semi truck in suspenseful, white knuckled cat and mouse game. Starring Dennis Weaver as the only main character and with very little dialog. This is one of the first films by a young Steven Speilberg and shows us his emerging genius. A classic that will keep you glued to your seats. I saw a cool video on youtube where some guy bought and restored the real truck from the movie. It's shown in a residential neighborhood, but it still had the same massive engine sound. With the theme music playing in the background, it was still terrifying.

Honorable Mention

"Death Probe" from the Six Million Dollar Man T.V. show. A nearly indestructible Russian-made Venus probe crash lands on Earth and it's up to you know who to stop it. The robotic probe looked kind of like a giant motorized Dalek from Dr. Who.

Transformers. Past, present, and future. They're all killer cars!

Mad Max, The Road Warrior. Lots of killer cars.

Wheels of Terror. A made for TV movie about the unseen driver of a supped up Dodge Charger kidnapping and murdering young girls on the highway in Arizona.

Black Cadillac starring Randy Quaid. A mysterious black 1957 Cadillac Fleetwood and it's driver are terrorizing a group of friends on a road trip

I seem to remember some bad action movie called Rolling Thunder. Some guy adds special gadgets to a supped up semi truck in order to break into an impenetrable compound to save a little girl or something.

Take the Poll

Which is your favorite killer car/movie?

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    • profile image

      Lee Vervoort 

      4 years ago

      coming soon...."The Truck".

    • profile image

      tom kane 

      5 years ago

      i like 1990 wheeles of terror killer car movie but this movie is not on dvd bluray

    • profile image

      paulharder 

      5 years ago

      good list..you should do a list of good-car movies like KITT and Herbie the love bug. cant think of any others

    • profile image

      Tonya 

      6 years ago

      How could you leave out the 1980's Movie the Hearse? That movie had a lasting effect on me, I still get chills when I see a hearse!

      Awesome script writing!

    • profile image

      bill101 

      6 years ago

      I loved christine as a kid and plan to own a 1958 plymouth fury somedayjust like in the movie

    • profile image

      Se Hyun 

      6 years ago

      I feel like "Rubber" should be an honorable mention. Not a whole car but it fits the genre.

    • Raevyn14 profile image

      Raevyn14 

      6 years ago from Tecumseh, Oklahoma

      the wraith is one of the best movies ever, it just doesn't seem like a horror movie. Christine is a classic and its so good, you almost wanns get the book and read it

    • profile image

      George 

      6 years ago

      I have seen almost every one of these and own several. I must say I love most of the choices. I did vote The Car as it is also an all time favorite. I loved Killdozer as a kid and wish it was available on DVD, but I did find it on Youtube and watched it again there. Cheese, as were most of those movie of the week stories, but I still loved it.

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